Original post made
by Walter_E_Wallis, Midtown,
on Nov 3, 2010
the gas cloud over South Palo Alto was, we are told, the result of an intentional maintenance release of pipeline pressure to allow inspection. The announcement further said that, when the line was put back in service there would be further release as the line was purged of oxygen.
Nice for them. Anyone who has had an air conditioner repaired in the past few years know that the old days of blowing off the charge before servicing are gone. You must, at some expense, pay to have the refrigerant pumped out and reclaimed. When the repaired unit is placed back in service, the purged air must be scrubbed of refrigerant, again at some expense. To be consistent, PG&E should be required to pump the gas in the section to be worked on into an adjacent active part of the system, and while purging the line of air any contained gas should be reclaimed. Neither of these requirements is either technically difficult or onerously expensive, but If I cannot let the 3 pounds of refrigerant in my car escape, it would behoove PG&E to stop the much larger atmospheric discharge of their pollutant.